Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sweet Lou like lineup. Cubs could get Lopez and Roberts??

Sweet Lou added today that he will keep the lineup how it is having Theriot lead off, followed by Soriano, Lee, Aram, and Fukudome. He believes Fuk in the 5th spot provides protection for Aram and I agree. I think this could be posturing for the Roberts trade in which Roberts would lead off and Theriot would hit 7th behind Soto. Either way I like the lineup how it is!

You heard earlier today that Lopez was being scouted by the Cubs as a possible backup plan to Roberts. I see Lopez as merely a backup middle infielder and feel maybe Font, Cedeno, or Cintron could fill the two backup positions instead of Lopez but I still like the idea of getting Felipe, especially if all he cost is a PTBNL. I think Lopez could be traded to the Cubs even if the Cubs get Roberts. My theory is maybe the O's want Cedeno and/or Fontenot in a deal leaving the Cubs with Eric Patterson and Derosa a the backup middle infielders. If that is the case Lopez would be a good fit. I would love the combination of Derosa and Lopez coming off the bench and filling for guys. Both have a good bat and it would really strengthen the bench!

Roberts Update!

The O's were scouting Marshall yesterday and it is believed that the recent comments from Roberts might actually get a deal done fast. The O's want Sean Gallagher and Ronny Cedeno in any deal and now are rumored to want Sean Marshall and maybe a fourth prospect like Veal or Epatt. The Cubs need a leadoff man and the O's need young pitching and middle infield depth. Sounds like the deal should get done but we have been saying that since December!

Cubs don't need Inge or Thames. Cubs scouting Lopez.

The Chicago Sun-Times says today that the Cubs have had not talks with the Tigers about Thames or Inge and acquiring them would not make any sense to the Cubs and I agree. The Cubs are currently looking at players that can help Pie out in Centerfield. Here is my list of guys-

Reggie Willits
Ryan Spilborghs
Ryan Raburn
CoCo Crips
Kenny Lofton
Marlon Byrd
Ryan Freel
Melky Cabrera
Gary Matthews
Randy Winn

In other notes the Cubs have begun to scout Felipe Lopez. Lopez has not done anything since being traded to Washington( which is not hitter friendly). Lopez is a 29 year old switch hitter than can play all infield positions. His numbers have really decreased since leaving Cincy which you can check out here-

The only way I see Lopez deal working is if he is a player coming off the bench to relieve Theriot or Derosa. He would be a switch hitter which would really benefit this team. The Cubs do have Font and Cedeno but both have peaks and valleys in there bat production and both have fielding problems when they leave there comfortable positions on the field. If we get Lopez for a PTBNL I would be all for it, maybe being back in a hitter friendly park would help him put up numbers like he did in 05??? Probably wishful thinking.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Decisions to come Monday. Roberts Comments!

According to Sweet Lou, the Cubs will settle on the closer and the final two spots in the rotation on Monday. He has already said that Z, Lilly, and Hill all have spots locked in the rotation leaving Marquis, Lieber, and Dempster fighting for two spots. Wood is also the lead candidate for Closer and will work back to back days Sunday and Monday. In my opinion Wood already has the closer role and Lieber should be a lock for the 3 spot in the rotation. It will be interesting to see what Lou will come up with, maybe there will be trade that will make the decision on the rotation easier??? All I am saying is Lieber better be in the starting 5!

You did not think that I would go a day without Roberts Rumors did you??

"At some point in your career, your name is going to be thrown out there in trades and it's going to create some uncertainty," Roberts said before the Orioles' 7-4 loss today to the St. Louis Cardinals. "But, no, I didn't expect this to go all the way through spring training. It's not something that I'd want to go through every year, that's for sure."

"I think at some point that needs to happen," Roberts said. "I'm not saying it has to be today or tomorrow, but if it gets to be Opening Day, I don't really want to deal with it for two more months. I can't imagine that [a trade] would happen on April 20. That doesn't really make much sense. I'd think if it doesn't happen by the end of spring training, it's probably not going to.

"I wouldn't say it would be a letdown if [a trade] doesn't happen. I'm going to play baseball either way. I love my teammates, the city of Baltimore. It's not like it would be the end of the world. But like I've said before, everybody wants to win and you always want to be in a situation where you feel like you have the best chance of doing that.",0,687634.story

They need to get this deal done! Plain and Simple!

My new lineup with Roberts-
Roberts 2b
Soriano LF
Lee 1st
Aram 3b
Fukudome RF
Derosa/Theriot SS
Soto C
Pie CF

Tigers want Wuertz

According to Jon Paul of the Detroit Free Press said that the Tigers have targeted Michael Wuertz. With the Tigers lack in depth in the pen they are looking for a solid righty that can handle late inning work and possibly save some games, Wuertz obviously fits the bill well. In 73 games last year he went 2-3 with a 3.48 ERA, so why wouldn't they target the 29 year old righty. The Cubs need a right handed 4th outfielder and could consider Marcus Thames or Brandon Inge. Thames has tremendous power but low average(.241) and OBP (.278). He is nothing more than a fourth outfielder and there is the concern if he can handle center, which he can not. Inge is basically the same player with better OBP and he can play center. I would prefer Inge over Thames but not by much considering his contract.

There is one player I would target besides the two listed above. The Cubs should ask for Ryan Raburn. He is an young, inexpensive, versatile, talented player that could fill the fourth outfield spot very well. He batted .304 with 4 homers, 27 RBI in just 138 AB with Detriot. He also has done very well in the minors having a career .272 avg, .352 OBP, 45 SB in 2405 AB. I think he will be a stud and great 4th outfielder on the Cubs.

I am all for trading Weurtz if it makes the Cubs a better team and to be honest giving him up for Inge or Thames would not improve the team at all. Giving him up for Raburn and a pitching prospect or two, I would be OK with that.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cubbie Rumors and Notes

Got a lot catching up to do-

- Wood was held out of yesterdays game because of back spasms but came back today pitching one inning. He stuck out two, gave up one run on two hits.

- Lieber looks like he will be in the rotation starting opening day. Last night proved it again, he pitched 5 innings with scattering 7 hits, 1 run, and stuck out 4. Lieber has a outstanding 1.80 era this Spring. I would be amazed if he is not in the rotation opening day.

- The Cubs trimmed the roster today sending Sean Gallagher and Jose Ascaino to AAA Iowa while sending Josh Kroeger to minor league camp.

- Hill looked awful today. He pitched 1.1 innings give up 6 BB, 2 ER, while giving up one hit. His ERA is 7.11 this Spring. I think Hill might be on his way out of the rotation if he does not shape up. Currently Dempster, Lieber, Marquis, and Marshall all have an ERA under 4.50. I would not be opposed to have Lieber, Marquis, and Dempster in the rotation to start the year. They proved themselves this Spring.

- The Cubs seem concerned with Pie and I do not see why. Pie has played good defense this Spring and has hit well. Pie deserves the job in center. John Heyman said that Crisp, Payton, and Byrd are likely trade candidates for the Cubs. I think they should look at Reggie Willits.

- The Cubs are in a holding pattern. They are still awaiting word on what the O's want in a deal for Roberts and if they will also get Payton in the deal as well. The Cubs are very frustrated with the Orioles and you can really tell from Jim and Lou's comments the past weeks.

- It is rumored that the Cubs and Mets have interest in Kenny Lofton. The Cubs are awaiting word on potential trades before the sign the 41 year old Lofton. I would not be opposed to this. If you have visited this site before you know how much I like Kenny.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hendry wants to make more moves and other hot rumors.

According to the Sun-Times yesterday Hendry is not satisfied with the roster how it is. Jim said

''We're going to have to add somebody before Opening Day. I can't say for sure because you are going to have to acquire somebody from somewhere else, but we are going to have to add at least another outfielder to be in the mix off the bench -- from the right side.''

Jim seems frustrated with rumors surrounding his club and feels it is effecting his team. Maybe being straight forward with the media will help ease the tension and slow down the speculation??( Not likely). The Cubs have been linked to Crisp, Byrd, Willits, among others for that 4th spot in the outfield. Jim is still trying to hammer out a deal with the O's for Roberts but if a deal does get done it will likely be right before opening day.

Lou is going to play Fukudome in CF the next couple of games to see if he can handle it. There just trying to find out who will be the back up in center considering Pie has the job and Fuld will start in AAA. Lou even said

''I said we weren't going to keep both young center fielders [Felix Pie and Sam Fuld] here. I'm going to have to play Fukudome in center a little bit this week.''

In my opinion it looks like maybe they might be posturing for Fukudome to take over in CF and put the hot hitting Hoffpauier in RF. Though it is a possibility it is still unlikely. I honestly think they are just seeing if Fukudome can handle center in case of an injury or if Pie does not work out. Smart decision for Lou.


I had one of my readers bring this to my attention, the idea of the Cubs pursing the A's Todd Linden. Here is the tidbit from MLBTR-

Outfielder Todd Linden hit .353/.421/.482 in 85 Spring Training at-bats in 2007. That and the fact that he was out of options helped him snag the Giants' fourth outfielder job that year. Linden can play all three outfield positions. However, the Giants designated Linden for assignment on May 10th after just 55 ABs. The Marlins picked him up and he fared a bit better. But they were still able to pass him through waivers to send him to Triple A in June.

This year the 27 year-old boasts a spring line of .577/.633/.885 in 26 ABs. Nonetheless, the A's decided not to take him with to Japan. That means he's not making the team, and Linden understandably isn't happy about it. The versatile switch-hitter should be able to hook on somewhere as a fourth outfielder.

I like the idea of the Cubs going after this guy. He is a switch hitter that can obviously handle the bat and all outfield positions. He is listed as a Centerfielder and I think he would be a nice fit for the Cubs fourth outfield spot, not to mention he won't cost much.

If the Cubs are that worried about dealing for a 4th outfielder they should just sign Kenny Lofton. I know the Cubs want a right handed or switch hitting outfielder that can play all positions but Lofton has hit lefties just as well as righties. Lofton's career avg. against lefties is .287 and against righties it is .304. Lofton provides good speed, great OBP, decent defense, and a good clubhouse guy. He is familiar with the outfield at Wrigley and has a lot of post season success. I would go after him if you can't not get a guy like Byrd, Crisp, Linden, or Willits. My first choice is of course Willits, I think you can get him for Marquis or maybe Marshall.


The Cubs are still trying to get Roberts from the O's, regardless of reports saying talks have slowed. Sean Gallagher is expected to get a start where he will be auditioning for Oriole scouts. The O's are currently looking at utility infielder Mark Loretta as a possible replacement for Roberts. So it seems things are forming but they just have not came together.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Unfound Rumors"

I have not had an "Unfound Rumors" post in a while but my email box had a very curious rumor I would like to share with you.

The Cubs and Angels are in negotiations on a trade that would send disgruntled Jason Marquis or young lefty Sean Marshall to the Halos for an outfielder or couple of prospects. The Angels have lost Lackey for a month and lost Escobar for a undetermined amount of time. The Angels either want a veteran presence in the rotation or a young cheap player with ML experience to fill out there rotation until Lackey and Escobar come back. The Cubs like outfielder Reggie Willits who would fill the fourth outfield position for the Cubs. It is rumored that Willits may be untouchable but the Angels are desperate for pitching so they untouchable status may be lifted.

This sounds like a legitimate rumor although I cannot find anywhere on the net where I can confirm it. I will keep you updated if I hear anything. Remember this is an " Unfound Rumor" and 9 times out of 10 nothing comes of it but I thought it was worth sharing.

Wood will be name Closer?? Spring Training News.

Lou said yesterday he is leaning toward giving Kerry Wood the closer job this season. He feels that setup men actually pitch more during the season and feels Woody will be a better fit than Marmol because Carlos can handle more innings. I agree with Lou, Wood has shown all Spring that he can handle the duties of being a closer. He throws hard, has a nice slider, and still throwing his curve from time to time. I also like Marmol in the shut down role. He one of the lowest ERA for a reliever last season and can be that shut down pitcher in the 7th or 8th inning. Howry and Eyre can fit the bill for situation pitching and Hart can be used as a long reliever or even in the late innings. I like this move by Lou and think all pitchers included will succeed in there roles. Look for Wood to get 30+ saves this season.

In Spring Training News, Fukudome collided with White Sox second baseman Mike Rouse yesterday after the 2nd baseman bobbled the ball. Fukudome flipped over Mike and landed hard on the ground. Asked if the was injured he said "I'm fine."

Lou has a little bit of a problem. Where to play Micah Hoffpauir?? Micah is making it tough on Lou, he keeps hitting, he can play 1st base, and the corner spots in the outfield. Unfortunately for Hoffpauir he is blocked by Lee, Soriano, and Fukudome. Lou still may give him more AB and try him at different positions. Lou has said " if you can hit your way on to this team, we can find a spot for you". Micah has definitely done that!